RACE Rubens Barrichello delivered a podium finish for his Honda Racing F1 Team today after a brilliant drive in the dramatic British Grand Prix was rewarded with third place - the 62nd podium of his Formula One career and his first for the Honda...
Rubens Barrichello delivered a podium finish for his Honda Racing F1 Team today after a brilliant drive in the dramatic British Grand Prix was rewarded with third place - the 62nd podium of his Formula One career and his first for the Honda team.
The 60-lap race was wet throughout, however the amount of water on the track varied significantly and some excellent strategy calls helped to propel Rubens up the order from his 16th position on the grid. At one point, after fitting extreme wet tyres, he was the fastest driver on the track and he even overtook eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton, before settling for third place.
No rain was falling as the cars lined up on the grid, but with a damp track Rubens and Jenson started on the Bridgestone Potenza wet tyre. Both had excellent starts with Rubens making up six places on the opening lap, and Jenson five, and from there the foundations of their races were laid.
The two Honda RA108s ran nose-to-tail for much of the opening stint of the race, before Rubens pitted for new wet tyres on lap 24 and Jenson on lap 25. Heavy rain began to fall at half distance and a quick decision was made to bring in both cars on lap 35 for extreme wet tyres. A problem with the refuelling rig at Rubens' stop delayed both drivers, however the Brazilian still had to make a third stop on lap 46, by which time he had climbed up to second place. The stop dropped him to third place, and despite this he crossed the line just 13 seconds behind the second placed car.
Jenson meanwhile had a snap of oversteer on lap 38 when he hit standing water in the middle of Bridge and went off the circuit, bringing his home race to a premature end.
Weather: Clear spells and heavy rain showers
Q. Congratulations Rubens. A fantastic performance at the team's home race and your first podium for Honda.
A. "It's a great feeling to be back on the podium today after such an exciting race where the weather conditions really helped us to get the best out of the car. The most important decision of the race for us was switching to the extreme wet tyre when the heavy rain started to fall at half distance. I had a real moment at Club, going off at high speed and almost hitting the wall, and that made me realise that we needed to make a quick decision. After fitting the extreme wets, I was able to overtake the cars in front easily which was a great feeling. Making such a crucial decision at a key time comes from experience and from the team having the confidence in me to make the call. I would like to say a big thank you to the team today - to everyone back at the factory and also in Japan. Life is about learning from your experiences, and we have been through some tough times over the last couple of years. But I always had faith that there were good times ahead and I know there are plenty more to come."
Q. A disappointing result in front of your home crowd. Talk us through your race.
A. "It was a crazy race today with the conditions changing all the time. We had some good pace on the wet tyres for the first part of the race before the heavy shower which brought both Rubens and I into the pits for extreme wets on lap 35. Shortly after that stop, I hit standing water at Bridge which caused the car to aquaplane off the circuit. I tried to spin the car round but there was another car coming so I had to get out of the way, couldn't get the car round far enough and ended up trapped in the gravel. There's always a bit of luck involved in this type of race and unfortunately it wasn't my day for luck today. Congratulations to Rubens on his third place and first podium for the team."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. A dramatic race in changing conditions has brought Rubens' first podium for Honda. You must be very pleased?
A. "We are delighted with the result from today's race and Rubens' first podium for Honda is very well deserved. He did a magnificent job out there, providing great information to help put together exactly the right tyre calls and strategy today. Without the fuel rig problem that we had at the second pit stops, he would certainly have finished one position higher in second place. We were aware that rain was forecast for today, and we had compromised our qualifying settings yesterday to be better prepared for the wet conditions, a decision which fully paid off in the race."
Q. What does this result mean for the team?
A. "Scoring our first podium of the season is a huge boost for the morale of the entire team, everyone here at the track today and all the people who work so hard back at the factory. It is doubly rewarding to have achieved this result at our home race, so close to both of our UK facilities at Brackley and Bracknell. Additionally, we have secured six extremely valuable points which opens up the potential to chase for sixth place in the Constructors' Championship over the rest of the season."